A Prayer for Caleb

One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord,  “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  This verse has been one I have read over and over as I have prayed for God to guide me as I seek his will for Caleb’s life.

When Caleb was first diagnosed with autism nine years ago I went through a very dark and frustrating time in my life. I worried constantly about Caleb’s future.

I cringed every time I would read a negative article from a magazine or website that listed all the things that my sweet little boy would never do.

*Never be able to be communicate

*Never be able to make friends

*Never be able to graduate from high school

*Never be able to live on his own

*Never be able to hold a job or sustain himself financially

The list went on and on ….

When I would read books with stories of other parents who had recovered their children from autism, and often in seemingly miraculous fashion, I would cry out to God “It’s just not fair! Why won’t you heal our son!” I wanted to wake up one morning and have a “normal” child who could talk and play with other kids.  I tried all the treatments and therapies I read about: speech therapy, occupation / sensory therapy, cranial sacral therapy, gluten-free diet, chelation, digestive enzymes, B-12 shots and many other vitamin supplements.  However, I didn’t notice any big changes and I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong.

It was during this period in my life that a small group from the church we were attending gave us this poem that they had written and told us that they had been praying for Caleb.

A Prayer for Caleb
Lord, I pray for Caleb’s brain that it would be healthy so you can fill it with your boundless wisdom
I pray for Caleb’s eyes that they would be able to see you and the mighty works of your creation
I pray for Caleb’s tongue that it would be full of grace and ready to be used as your instrument
I pray for Caleb’s lungs that they would be healthy and strong, ready to shout your praises from the mountains
I pray for Caleb’s heart that it would be strong and have more space for you to dwell
I pray for Caleb’s shoulders that they would be big enough to carry the burdens of his brothers and sisters in Christ
I pray for Caleb’s arms and hands that they would be willing and able to do your work
I pray for Caleb’s legs that they would be strong enough to run the race
I pray for Caleb’s feet that they would look to your word for direction and that they would follow you in your footsteps
I pray for Caleb’s body and all that is in it, so that it would be a temple sanctified by you forever and ever
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

I read this poem and started praying for Caleb differently. I asked God to show me his will, not mine, for Caleb’s life. With this change in focus and attitude I became more aware that God was blessing us with miracles everyday. They were just lots of small miracles instead of one big one.  I had been so focused on what I wanted for Caleb and the big miracle I was praying for that I had been missing the little miracles!  I asked God to continue to open my eyes to see how he was working in Caleb’s life, as well as lives of the rest of family members.

Letting go of my plans and following God’s will has been hard at times. However, the rewards and blessings have been too many to count! I have learned to accept Caleb for the wonderful creation of God that he is. I still sometimes think about what life would be life if Caleb didn’t have autism but more and more I find those thoughts being about the people I would never have met and experiences I would have missed out on.

God has used Caleb to touch so many lives and that his cheery spirit and giggling laughter can brighten even my darkest days!

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